Eric had just finished carving Hunter’s name into the wooden sword when he felt something odd, almost like a jolt of electricity. But as quickly as it was there, it was gone. He immediately checked his bonds with Sookie, but there was nothing there except the emptiness―except the dark. It was the third time that night he’d thought that he felt something, but it had turned into nothing. He sighed. Maybe Godric was not his only psychosis now.
He cleaned the wooden sword carefully and walked it inside the house. He found the box he’d gotten to put it in and quickly gave the present to Jessica, who was busy wrapping gifts and humming Christmas tunes at the dining room table. She took it with a smile, added it to her stack, and continued wrapping. Eric went into the living room and saw Hunter’s bike in even more pieces than it had been in before.
Pam―her hands on her hips―looked at Eric. “Please tell him that he’s an idiot, and that I’m in charge,” she said, gesturing toward Jason.
Jason rolled his eyes. “If you are in charge, then Hunter will end up with a piece of scrap metal instead of a bicycle.”
Eric looked at both of them and smirked, “I will decide on the leader here. Pam, present your case to me.”
Jason looked a bit baffled as Pam began speaking, “I am older, smarter, prettier, and better in bed―according to Jessica.”
Jason’s face fell.
A loud bang was heard from the dining room as Jessica dropped the scissors on the floor. “Pam!” she yelled.
“Fine,” Pam said, rolling her own eyes. “I haven’t had sex with Jessica. But I am better in bed.”
Jason looked immensely relieved and then offended.
“Be that as it may,” Eric chuckled. “None of this qualifies you for putting together a bicycle.”
“Fine!” Pam said again. “How about this? We got the instructions only in Spanish, and I’m the only one here who can read them.” She looked at Jason with triumph in her eyes.
Eric nodded, “Compelling evidence. Stackhouse―your case?”
Again, Jason seemed confused.
Eric snickered and then clarified, “Why should you be in charge, Jason?”
Pam glared at her maker. He was having way too much fun with this, but part of her was enjoying his uncommon levity.
“Well,” Jason started and then stood up very straight, “I’ve put bikes together before. In fact, the bike I put together for Sook when she was only eleven and I was thirteen is still in the shed and still works just fine. Plus, it is Pam who took apart the pieces that were already put together when it came.”
“Some pieces had been installed incorrectly,” Pam insisted.
Eric stifled his laughter and cleared his throat. “Stackhouse, you will be team leader here, and Pam, as your maker, I command you to follow his instructions. You are to read the directions out loud―in English—as Jason directs until the vehicle is assembled.”
“But,” Pam began.
“Oh, and, Pam,” Eric added, “you are not to complain about this ruling. It is Christmas, and you are to,” he paused, “try your best to be,” he paused again and smirked, “jolly.”
Pam’s mouth fell open as Jason looked at her in triumph.
Eric spoke to Jason, “Stackhouse, I did not get you a Christmas gift, but I assume this will suffice?”
Jason nodded quickly, but then looked at Eric curiously. “Can you make her be nice for the rest of the year?”
Eric laughed as Pam looked up at him with warning in her eyes. Eric shook his head, “Not even the most powerful maker could accomplish the impossible, Stackhouse.” He chuckled again. Eric went into the kitchen to grab a blood. After his meal, he planned to return to the living room to watch the chaos that he was certain was about to ensue. He winked at Jessica as he went past her.
As Eric waited for his blood to warm, he thought about Jessica. In the last thirteen months, he’d watched her blossom. She was turning into an excellent vampire―as he’d hoped she would―and Pam was an even better mentor/maker than he could have foreseen. Jessica now worked at Fangtasia three nights a week and at Merlotte’s two nights per week. As of almost a month ago, Jason and she had gotten permission to ‘make the beast with two backs,’ as Pam had called it. Of course, the Shakespearean reference had needed to be explained to Jason.
And if Jason consented, Jessica had been given permission to feed from him; however, Pam had forbidden them to form a tie or a bond for at least another year, and Eric was glad of it.
Jessica was still a very young vampire, and he wanted to make sure that any decision she made was entered into with a lot of thought.
Eric had taken his first drink of the blood when he felt something odd again―only this time, it was stronger. Again it felt like a jolt of electricity; he also saw a flicker of light when he closed his eyes. Eric dropped his blood, and a thought of the cabin entered his mind. “Sookie,” he whispered, checking the bond again. There was something there―very faint, but something.
Eric grabbed his chest. Pam and Jessica were in the kitchen in moments, followed soon after by Jason. Eric looked at Pam, “Finish preparing for Hunter’s Christmas morning. And if I am not here by sundown tomorrow, tell Hunter I will be here soon and that I’m okay.”
Without further explanation, Eric was out the door and flying toward the cabin at his top speed. He didn’t exactly know why he needed to be there, but something was calling for him—no—whispering for him to go. Though no other jolts had occurred, he knew something was happening with the bond.
He recalled his human days when he’d sat too long during a sea voyage, and one of his long limbs would lose some circulation. Sookie used to describe all the time how her foot or hand was ‘going to sleep’ or how she was ‘gettin’ pins and needles.’ Eric remembered that sensation too—even after almost a thousand years, and it felt like the fairy bond had experienced something similar during that moment in the kitchen. He flew faster, not caring at all when his flip flops fell off his feet to the ground below.
When Eric landed at the cabin, nothing was amiss. There were no odd scents and no new scent from Sookie. He punched in the code and went inside. Again, there was nothing out of place from the way he had left it before. “Sookie?” he said into the dark. “Sookie!”
He searched the rest of the cabin and his cubby―though he knew that there would be nothing there―and he sighed. He had felt no new ‘tingles’ from the bond for a while.
He thought about returning home, but something told him to stay where he was. He decided to light a fire and quickly replenished the wood supply before starting it. Once it was lit, Eric could think of nothing to do except to sit in front of it and wait. He made a pallet of blankets and then sat down.
As the fire made the room warmer, Eric felt himself seeming to warm. Once again he checked the fairy bond. He closed his eyes, and to his surprise, he felt Sookie―steady and suddenly there for the first time since the end of July. The fairy bond was very faint, but it held firm inside of him. Eric wondered if Claudette’s magic was wearing off as both Niall and Jesus had told him it eventually would.
In that moment, Eric didn’t care how the bond had come back; he just cared that it was there. He sent all of his own strength into it.
A little less than five minutes later, he felt the bond being ‘hit.’ His eyes widened. There was only one feeling he could compare that hit to―the moment when Sookie had shot her light into him and healed him at the Festival of Tolerance.
He knew, absolutely knew, that Sookie―his amazing wife―was somewhere out there, maybe a universe away, but she was trying to heal him yet again―trying to heal their bond. Eric focused all of the magic in his body on helping her―on sending her strength, on fueling their fairy bond.
Less than a minute later, he felt another hit―this time more intense. It stunned him for a moment, but he doubled his efforts to send his magical essence to the bond. His eyes were closed tightly. “Sookie, Sookie, Sookie,” he chanted as if in prayer. “I’m waiting, Sookie. I’ll always be waiting for you. Please. I’m here.”
Then Eric felt what seemed to be a shock of electricity hitting his chest. He was no longer human, and he had not felt his own heart stop for a thousand years―but now, it seemed to stop again. Even though it was undead, it stopped.
Eric had seen defibrillators on television. He understood their science. But he never expected to feel one. Why would he have? However, in that moment, he felt something like he imagined a defibrillator would feel like―hitting him straight in his heart.
It was like a lightning bolt straight into his chest—no, straight into the fairy bond. He closed his eyes tightly and saw white light. The charge did not hurt; in fact, Eric felt blissful. The fairy bond was opening. No―he gasped―it wasn’t just opening; it was calling him.
Eric opened his eyes. Sookie was calling him. He recalled the dream when she’d called him to her. That night, he’d concentrated all of his magic onto their fledging vampire bond, and he’d been able to go to her.
He once again shut his eyes tightly and entwined his magic tightly around the white light.
“I’m never going to let you go again,” he said out loud with a sigh. “I’ll never let you go again, min kära,” he repeated.
And then suddenly, he was no longer sitting. He was standing next to the fireplace. And he was no longer alone. His wife was standing in front of him with her hands over his fairy bond. White light seemed to be ebbing from those hands.